Ukraine will become NATO member when three capitals change their views, Foreign Minister says

Ukrainian Foreign Minister Dmytro Kuleba (right) with Estonian Foreign Minister Eva-Maria Liimets at a Ministerial NATO meeting in Riga, 1 December. Photo from Kuleba's twitter account 


Ukraine’s accession to NATO depends on three member countries who are building their relations with Kyiv through the prism of bilateral relations with Russia, Ukraine’s Foreign Minister Kuleba told in an interview with the Latvian portal, the translation of which was published by the Ukrainian embassy to Latvia.

“According to my calculations, Ukraine will join NATO when three capitals of NATO member states change their view of relations with Ukraine, finally beginning to see Ukraine as an independent and sovereign state, not as an appendage to Russia,” Kuleba said.

He did not answer the questions of the states in question but noted that when there is a change of opinion in these capitals and they no longer build their relations with Ukraine through the prism of bilateral relations with Russia, the situation will change dramatically.

“However, until this point of view changes, NATO will open only windows for cooperation with Ukraine, but the door to accession will be closed for now,” he added.

Recently, NATO Secretary-General Jens Stoltenberg stated that Ukraine is not a NATO member state yet because a would-be NATO member needs a consensus agreement of the current member countries to join the Alliance, which wasn’t yet achieved in Ukraine’s case.

On 1 December, Russian President Vladimir Putin announced Russia will insist on concrete agreements that would rule out any further eastward expansion of NATO. This took place after a month of Russia ramping up tensions on the Belarusian-Ukrainian border. We asked Ukrainian and international experts what this statement means and why it comes now — read their answers here.


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